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Diabolic Intent – Batman Rogues Gallery
A Sampler Platter of Evil
Welcome back to Diabolic Intent, where we build decks around iconic villains and their diabolical schemes! This article is a little different from previous installments, though. Building our Joker deck got me brainstorming a few more deck ideas for that fantastic suite of foes Batman has faced over the years, so I decided to write them all up into their own article! Here they are!
Two-Face – Coin Flips
Yeah, yeah, no surprises here. “Two-Face”, or The-District-Attorney-Formerly-Known-As-Harvey-Dent, is notable for flipping a coin before making any big decision, these decisions usually being whether or not to shoot someone in the head.and are the obvious commander choices, but if we were wanting to dip a little deeper into Two-Face’s “justice of randomness” philosopy, we could splash black for some stuff like and .
Also, the deck would notably NOT be running, because that would not be FAIR.
The Riddler – Sphinxes
Edward Nigma enjoys a) committing crimes, and b) riddling. Sphinxes also love riddling, so they’ll give us plenty of ways to leave clues for Batman.
Whileis by far the most popular commander choice for Sphinx tribal (he loves to write and hand out little -style riddles for his Sphinx subordinates), we might consider going with someone like since Esper gives us access to a few more riddles of our own like and . Esper also lets us play and for their sick riddle-themed flavor text.
The Penguin – Equipment/Bird Tribal
This guy has two signatures, and they’re both pretty weird. The first is his collection of umbrellas, which distinguish themselves from regular umbrellas by shooting fire, hypnotizing people, and letting him fly. While there are a few Equipment cards that transform, such asand , is the only Equipment card that transforms into another Equipment, in the same way the original subject transforms from an umbrella into an umbrella with a gun in it. And as long as we’re talking Equipment, we’re gonna need some for Oswald Cobblepot.
His second signature is his love of birds. It comes up a lot less frequently than the umbrella thing, which is kind of appropriate considering how infrequently anyone ever brings up Bird Tribal. We do have a few options, though (is kind of fun), and this deck could probably hold its own playing fliers and giving them cool gadgets.
Poison Ivy – Plants/Landfall
I could hardly make this deck anything but mono-green after Mark Rosewater himself called out Poison Ivy as a green villain. It makes a lot of sense, given her goal of protecting and preserving nature, not to mention her affinity for giant plant creatures.
As a quick side note, I realized that I haven’t really featured any green villains in this series, and I’m not sure whether that’s due to my personal aversion to green, or the fact that green’s gameplan is fairly straightforward and doesn’t usually lend itself to elaborate villain scheme shenanigans (the latter could also be the cause of the former). Case in point, this deck slaps down dudes, plays lands, then makes ’em big dudes. I promise I’ll do a full feature on a more interesting green-aligned villain, but this particular build does fit really well.
Ra’as al Ghul – Reanimator Auras
Well, whaddya know, another green villain! Ra’as al Ghul aspired to restore the world’s environmental balance, usually by wiping out humanity with some sort of bioweapon. His endeavors spanned several centuries with the aid of the Lazarus Pits, which could keep him young and murderous as long as he could get to one while he was dying.
Whilecan’t be the commander of a deck with in it, his need to “recover his full strength” with an Aura after resurrecting makes him great in the 99. We’d probably want to pilot a Voltron deck in these colors, especially with his kind of Ra’as-ish facial hair.
Catwoman – Stealy Rogues
I waffled on making this a Cat deck, butis kind of our only option for Cat decks, and Catwoman doesn’t have a single white or green bone in her body. Magic‘s suite of Rogues showcase her heisting talents purrfectly (sorry/not sorry). We’d run all these alongside a bunch of ways to make them unblockable, probably under .
Victor Zsasz – Death Tallies
This guy’s kind of low on the Gallery Totem Pole, but his gimmick makes for an interesting deck. Zsasz is known for carving a tally mark on his body for every person he kills, and there are quite a few cards that can functionally “track our kills” by adding up counters as creatures die.could be a fun commander for this deck, especially with all the cool scarring he’s got already. The strategy would mainly be to run symmetrical sacrifice effects like and to maximize the deaths that our “tracker” creatures see, rather than board wipes.
Bonus Team Up
Scarecrow and Clayface – Scareclones
So neither of these guys really work for a deck on their own, but Clayface’s identity theft and Scarecrow’s looking like a scarecrow come together to make something really fun here. Since there aren’t really enough Scarecrow cards forto realistically use (there are a few; is kind of a neat one), we can make up the difference with clones! is especially fun because it lets us copy for bonus triggers. Of course, any Jonathan Crane deck will need some fear-related mechanics, so the deck will run plenty of ways to give creatures fear and intimidate, and although clones don’t necessarily synergize with those keywords, our Scarecrow friend is here to help out.
Bonus Other Thing
Calendar Man – Holidays or Something
For anyone who hasn’t read The Long Halloween, they tried to rebrand Calendar Man as this creepy Hannibal Lecter type figure, which only works as long as you can forget that the person that Batman is talking to is freaking Calendar Man. Anyway, he likes to do crimes on important calendar dates, so look at that: we’ve got Halloween, Easter, and Memorial Day. Run the holiday promos if you’re really that committed to making a freaking Calendar Man deck. Honestly, I put this in because my friend dared me to include Calendar Man, and I couldn’t just say no, for some reason. Are you happy now, Steven?
That’s all I’ve got! Do you have any cool deck ideas for other Batman villains? Were there any that you felt that I totally butchered or really nailed? Do you have any ideas for cards or strategies that these decks could run? Let me know! Also, vote on the next villain!